Democratic presidential candidates held their fifth debate Wednesday night, this time in Atlanta. Ten candidates qualified, but not Texan Julián Castro, who, instead, tweeted from the sidelines. He didn’t poll high enough to earn a spot, and now he has until Dec. 9 to decide if he will file to be on the ballot for Texas’ primary in March.
Todd Gillman is Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News. He is reporting from Atlanta, and says the debate was an afterthought for many Americans.
“It is so overshadowed by the impeachment hearing, which, of course, came up somewhat during the debate,” Gillman says.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg appears to be a frontrunner, but Gillman says he likely doesn’t have enough political experience to stay ahead.
“The only statewide race that he ever ran he lost by 25 points,” Gillman says, “He was elected mayor with just 11,000 votes.”
Fellow candidates, including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, have attacked him for that reason.
As for Castro, Gillman says he likely won’t qualify for the fifth debate in December. But he did use Twitter to try to stand out amid a lackluster debate.
“His running commentary on Twitter [during the debate] actually did pretty well,” he says.
But his low polling, even in Texas, means his campaign is in trouble.
“How he can even survive until the Texas primary is a mystery,” Gillman says.
Written by Caroline Covington.